Connecting to an 802.1X Network on Mac OS 10.7 Lion

I recently faced the challenge (yes, it’s a challenge) to connect to an 802.1X secured network from Mac OS 10.7. While normally the people responsible should provide you with a configuration profile for your Mac, that’s actually not very often the case …

After trying to connect, installing certificates into my Keychain, I ended up with the following thread on the Apple Support Community:

The answer of DrVenture pretty much explains the procedure, but I’d like to outline it here as well:

  1. Download iPCU (iPhone Configuration Utility) from here
  2. Open iPCU from Applications / Utilities or via Finder
  3. You screen will look like this:
  4. Select Configuration Profiles from the pane on the lefthand side
  5. Click on New
  6. Enter some required values in the General section
  7. Select the Credentials section
  8. Click on Configure and select your network certificate (I used a base64 encoded certificate)
  9. Now go back to the Wi-Fi section (never mind, Wi-Fi works for both wireless and cable connection)
  10. Now create a new Configuration. For a cable connection, specify any name as SSID, for a wireless connection – obviously – specify the correct SSID
  11. Now select the protocols you need to use. In my case it was TTLS and PEAP with MSCHAPv2 authentication
  12. Move on to the Authentication tab and put in your username and password (if needed). In case you need to present a certificate, go back to step 8 and import your private key for this certificate. You should be able to select it in the dropdown underneath the Password field.
  13. Last but not least navigate to the Trust tab and activate the checkbox next to your network certificate you have to trust.
  14. After you’ve done all that, you click on Export
  15. In the Export Configuration Profile dialog you select None as security and proceed by clicking Export …
  16. In the next dialog you just save the file somewhere on your harddisk
  17. To import the configuration profile, just double-click the file from finder.

Whenever you connect a network cable, a dialog should pop up asking you for the configuration profile to use. Just select the name you specified earlier and click OK. You can check the status of your 802.1X connection from the Network Preferences, allowing you to Connect, Disconnect and view some stats.

Hope it’s helpful for anyone 🙂